The warm, sunny weather of the summer season often brings along the temptation to overspend. After all, with the many activities available, from vacations, water and amusement parks, concerts, graduations, plays, birthdays, summer weddings, family and friends’ get-togethers, BBQ’s and more, it’s easy to understand why summer is synonymous with budget-busting overspending. This type of overspending can wreak havoc on an otherwise carefully constructed budget.
Obviously, as you are going through your Century program, you want to make sure to avoid these typical summer spending pitfalls and stay on track this summer, allowing for a more stress-free future. Thankfully, the following tips will help you do just that:
Budget For Fun
Even while you are working your way out of debt, it’s still important to have fun within reason. Ideally, you will save a specific amount of money heading into summer, so you have some funds available for fun. This can look however you want it to for your family. If you enjoy going out to eat or to movies, let that be how you spend your allocated funds. If you would rather go away and have a more traditional vacation, then use your funds for that purpose. The important aspect to remember is to stick with your budget in terms of your fun. Once your allotment of money is spent, don’t spend anymore. Sometimes, this means saying no, speaking of which…
Learn to Say No When Necessary
As mentioned above, the summer is fraught with potential activities for you to enjoy with your family. While these are fun, to be sure, they are also the impetus for a well and thorough budget bust. Therefore, you have to learn to say no on occasion to keep your finances on track this summer. For example, you might have multiple family members and friends each summer inviting you to attend their showers and/or weddings during the same summer. You can either choose to attend and give gifts to just the individuals whom you are the closest with or simply say you aren’t going to attend any upcoming nuptials events at all this summer. The same goes for birthdays. If you have several family members or friends with summer birthdays, you can either set a price point that you will not go over for each event or do a complete opt-out. If you feel you must give something, just make sure you set a budget line for it and don’t go overboard, or make something homemade for them like a favorite dessert instead.
Find Free Activities, Use Coupons for Promos for Favorite Events
Another way to keep your finances on track this summer is to find free activities to attend with your family instead of spending money on amusement parks and other touristy destinations. Often, state parks are free or cost very little to enter. That is one option. Other potential activities could include free concerts, farmer’s markets with crafts and/or produce, free or inexpensive cultural festivals, art walks, etc. Look into your local area’s upcoming events calendar and keep your eyes open for cheap or free options.
Know There Are Other Potential Expenses to Look Out For
Not only does summer offer many potential activities and the temptation to overspend while on vacation, but you will also tend to spend more anyway on utility costs as well as gas. Therefore, it’s important to do what you can to offset these costs or at least to understand these expenses are coming and allocate more resources to cover the cost of cooling your home and operating your car. As far as gas goes, unfortunately, costs are rising rapidly at present. Thankfully, apps like Gas Buddy can help you find the best prices possible for gas. When it comes to your utility costs, make sure that your filters are clean and your AC unit is working optimally. Also, keep the lights off and enjoy the summer sunlight.
Summer doesn’t have to necessarily mean that you must kiss your budget goodbye. In fact, by keeping the above ideas in mind, you can keep your finances on track this summer and still have a wonderful time. Being financially responsible doesn't mean you have to forgo fun, it really just means you have to plan it out. After all, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Enjoy this summer and keep your budget on track with the tips outlined above.